Carolyn Nielsen is a Professor of Journalism and Affiliate Faculty in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Western Washington University. She worked in print journalism for a decade. She was a newspaper reporter and editorial page editor for The Bellingham Herald and a reporter for The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise, The San Francisco Examiner (correspondent) and other daily newspapers.
Her work has received Society of Professional Journalists awards for criminal justice reporting, investigative reporting and health/environment reporting. She has been named, with colleague Sheila Webb, as an Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication Legacy Scholar for their work in teaching media ethics. Her research focuses on newsroom sociology and on news media coverage of racial issues and representations of immigration in an emerging digital news environment. Her book, "Reporting on Race in a Digital Era," was published in 2020. It is dedicated to Herb Kamm, her adviser while she was a Cal Poly journalism student working on Mustang Daily, the predecessor to today's Mustang News.